Kung Fu Tuesday.
Since we had our daos with us, I used the time before class started to go through Catherine Dao. I was worried that I had neglected it too long, and indeed I had! The part I remembered was pleasingly smooth and powerful, but I had to work a bit to piece some parts back together- and there was one section I couldn’t recall at all. Luckily I have video of this form, so later in the week I need to watch that and go over what I missed. How dismayingly quickly stuff falls through the cracks!
I also went through Chen Dao once- that one was still okay, to my relief!
MM is in town visiting, so he was in class tonight.
We ran through Bung Bo Kuen and Little Red Dragon three or four times each to warm up, then the Northern Mantis bo form.
Then we divided into pairs, and one person attacked in slow-mo with the bo while the other unarmed person either got out of range of the swing and then came in to counter, or closed before the swing got well under way and countered.
Part of the object (as I understood it, but then CN is a Dragon guy, so it’s all about the continual flow) was to make sure you weren’t trying to go force-on-force against the bo. We want to let the momentum/energy continue, but turn it to our own purposes. I really have been working a lot on and paying attention to continual energy flow lately, so I was eager to try.
Once the arc of the bo had gone past the most powerful point and slowed down (and the attacker was in a disadvantageous position), I usually found it easy to make the bo do a little loop and then move either down or up (usually down). Most others were continuing on the horizontal, but I felt that changing the altitude (and with it the angle) was giving me (especially as the much weaker fighter) a better chance to compromise the attacker’s hold on the bo. Jamming the end into the ground usually opened up good targets on my opponent, which I could then attack from below (often using the bo itself for balance/bracing).
When we switched training partners, I found that some of the things that I’d made work on JoE were not working on SK. I figured out that it was important to not have too firm of a plan in mind going in. It wasn’t until I actually had my hands on the bo that I could REALLY feel where the energy was going and where the weak points were. Then I only had a tiny fraction of a second to decide what to do with it.
It was like jiu-jitsu- you can’t look at your opponent and go, "I’m going to do XYZ technique on this guy". You have to engage and then see where the openings open. CN seemed pleased with me when I volunteered all this during his questioning afterward. I hope he is noticing what a good potential Dragon I am. I think I am *getting* the Dragon perspective more than the other folks in class are getting it at the moment.
We did some staff spinning, then spinning while walking… I learned the spinning last year, and had practiced the spinning-and-walking on my own, so I could already do that. Then we practiced controlled horizontal stops out of the spinning- followed by spin, stop, lunge-and-stab.
Then it was spinning while turning. That was a bit of a challenge! I managed to get it to work after some difficulty, but that will need much more practice!
Then we did a little dao- review of the Snake dao technique we learned last week (*everybody* except CN and SK is clumsy with this except MOI… <evil chuckle>), followed by a few different dao parry-counters against a few different bo attacks. Although I know two dao forms, I have never really clicked with this weapon. I haven’t done much technique practice against opponents. It was juicy to experiment with catching the bo on the pommel and then sliding that long curved blade up the bo, up the inside of the opponent’s arm (sllllllllllllllice!), and then continuing that nice clean severence right across the throat!
DD showed up for the last 5 or 10 min of class… we haven’t seen him in a few months. He does tend to make some time to work with MM when MM is in town.